TomTom Announces Turn-by-Turn GPS Navigation for iPhone 3.0

It was a long time coming, but as part of yesterday's WWDC Keynote, TomTom co-founder Peter-Frans Pauwels demonstrated their company's solution to turn-by-turn GSP navigation for iPhone 3.0, and interestingly, it comes in two parts:

  • The TomTom navigation application for iPhone; an Apple version of TomTom’s award-winning turn-by-turn navigation software, including IQ Routes and latest maps from Tele Atlas;

  • The TomTom car kit for iPhone; a specially developed car kit for secure docking, enhanced GPS performance, clear voice instructions, hands-free calling and in-car charging.

No word on pricing or availability yet, though it will be at some point later this summer, after the iPhone 3.0 release on June 17.

Was it worth the wait, and what kind of pricing are you anticipating (or hoping for)?

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

TomTom Announces Turn-by-Turn GPS Navigation for iPhone 3.0


If Apple made the software I would say it would be possible that it would only work on the 3GS but it isn't. It would be very bad business practice to limit your customer base to just the 3GS.
If I had to guess a price I would say $99.99. If I had to wise for a price I would say $75.99. :)

If they were market savvy then..I'd say $19.99. There are over 40,000,000 iPhone/iPod touch owners. Plus, most smart phones come with GPS turn by turn for free. They will make millions if they make it affordable.

I would say $20 sounds about right. If it's any more, people might not buy it just because the thought of an app that is that expensive will scare people away. I know some people who refuse to buy 99 cent apps.
I definitely need this though because with my GPS going on 3 years old, it's time for an upgrade.

I'm ready. I agree with others it will be expensive. Since it kinda competes with their standalone devices. But yet they probably don't want to price it too high, I'm sure they would want to have it on every iPhone out there. So, I'm guessing $50-75.
My only disappointment is the car adapter looks like it will only work with naked iPhones. I used to run naked, but now I really like my iSkin solo. Here's to hoping they make an adapter for iPhones in cases.

I think the sweet spot for this should be $29.99. If it's more than that, I'll pass. I am so hoping that they do bring it at a reasonable price, it looks mighty sweet!

I will buy this whatever the price! One less thing to drag around in my work bag! I have a TomTom 310 XL now and like it especially the new mount system with it but will gladly ditch it for this if it works. The mount looks sweet on this one too. The 310 does not require any subscription, btw. Voice dial and voice itunes taboot!

The real question is whether or not this would work in airplane mode yet allow the use of GPS and cached maps while traveling abroad...

The only thing I really want is maps stored on the device. Been waiting to see how Tom Tom and others make their software compared to GMap from Xroad that is in the app store right now. Out in the sticks when I really need it waiting for Google Maps to load just doesn't cut it.

if u wanted to use this holder and hook up your iphone via usb to a car stereo to play music would it work? as in does the fact that the dock is converted to mini usb affect it?

I'm really excited to see this - much more than having video recording on my iphone. I'm wondering if it will support live traffic re-routing. Cause Telenav could have a more useful product out very quickly, if they don't.

A navigation system is an example why background apps are needed. Every time you have a phone call come in the app will close and you have to restart it after the call.

They are integrating the ability to call out within the GPS so that does not happen

I wonder if this will only work on the 3GS because of the inclusion of the digital compass. Also wonder if it will need to download TomTom maps (which will take up a lot of memory) but I guess that is the only way to do it without needing a constant data stream as the Google Map App needs. Speaking of which...I wonder how long before Google comes out with an integrated turn-by-turn direction service? they seem to stick their nose into everything else (ie photos storage, email, IM, books, browser, etc).
As far as price...gotta be at least $49.99 (never a nice clean number like $50!) but I wonder if they are going to bundle a redemption code with the cradle and charge owners more. Would suck but I wonder.

will it have voice cues? I am currently using G-Maps which was $20 (west coast only) and I absolutely love it, my only 2 complaints are 1) no landscape mode (which TomTom obviously has) and 2) no voice cues so i have to constantly look at it to make sure i havent passed my turn.
I would pay no more than $59.99 for this but hope its cheaper.
@Chad, G-Maps DOES work in airplane mode so I dont see why TomToms would not.

I bet the required car mount with "improved gps" includes the compass hardware for functionality on the iPhone 3G, maybe even on the 1st gen iPhone. Don't forget that OS 3 includes the ability to communicate with accessories via the dock port.

Let's see! The iPhone's the hardware already, so all you need is the software and a jazzy in car holder. The basic GPS unit in Australia start from $99, yes not as good as Tom Tom I'm sure, but still good enough to do the job. GPS software from Tom Tom will surely be around AU$49.95 - $79.95. Phone companies here want a piece of the pie so the holder I'm thinking around AU$59.95 - $89.95. If that's the case, that would be a NO from me. Hoping they surprise me with a better deal.

Andy and TosaDeac: You do not need a compass for GPS navigation.
I notice in only one brief Segment do they show the dangling wires. Everywhere else they show it without wires, which will have enough battery to get you just about nowhere.

I hope this works with the iPhone 3G. Wasn't there talks of higher priced apps and splitting the app store into different sections?
I would prefer Garmin, just what I am used to. I'm sure someone will come out with something cheaper. Maybe xGPS will come to the app store now.

Im surprised how many people think this might not work with the 3G. As Icebike and Eric said, yes it will. Wasn't that one if the big reasons for the 3.0 update?
Re: Telenav, they're supposed to be releasing an official statement re: the iPhone soon.

A lot. G-Map takes up almost a gig. That's why I don't mind OTA data stream (ala Telenav or Google Maps) although problems would arise if you couldn't get a data signal (in the middle of the desert, for example).

How about in incoming calls? It already annoys me that Pandora closes every time somebody calls me but having to restart a navigation app while driving seems almost dangerous.

I was wondering about incoming calls too, as far as pricing it would have to be a real sweet number ($50) for this to work. I just bought a tomtom 130s on sale at best buy for $119. It works nice and i love the text-to-speech. I have a fear that this unit will be close to $100 making a purchase not the most wise vs. entry level stand alone GPS units for your wallet.

I'm guessing about $20 for the software, and maybe another $20-$30 for the cradle. Any more than $50 and I'll take a pass. BTW, I assume that the software could work on its own with the phone and without the cradle when needed? Any thoughts on that?

but isn't the dock/window mount also a charger? I wonder how long your battery would last without? you might not make it out of state before the battery dies. Short summer vacation :)
Simply put if tomtom makes this too affordable they might lose some business, considering everyone and their mommy will have an 8GB iphone @ $99. They have to make it semi close to their entry level GPS device. My guess is $75-$100 all included.

I didn't say the app would run for hours before the battery croaks; all I was saying was this will be a fully-featured GPS system on your phone which won't require any additional hardware to work. :). A car charger is a must for any GPS app.
I agree with you on price too. So it bears repeating, folks: G-Map East/West is only $25 and it will essentially have the same basic features as TomTom (voice guidance, etc). Dammit, I'm dying to hear Telenav's "iPhone announcement."

Look Everyone the Price will be $100 US.
That is the Price that TOM TOM Navigator for WM and Garmin Mobile XT for WM & BB sell for.
TomTom, Garmin, etc are all basically giving you the hardware today for free. I have using WM Nav software for over 5 years: Iguiadance, TomTom, Co Pilot, NavMan Destinator etc. And every package has been betwenn $100-$150. A Huge Portion of the Fee goes to Pay for the Map License from Tele Atlas or Navteq.
Map Updates alone for PND's have been from $50 to $100.
Also remember that this will be a connected Device...meaning Traffic, Gas Prices, Online POI look ups.
You can either use Junky ATT Televanv and pay $10 a month or Pay $100 onetime.
Enough Said.

What does it mean that the car kit will have "enhanced GPS performance"? Does that mean that there will be a true, sattelite GPS chip in the mount, thereby adding true, sattelite GPS to the iPhone? Or does it just mean something lame like it will be easier to navigate since your iPhone will be suction-cupped to the window rather than in your hand?

i should think tomtom will release the app in the app store for whatever price... then they will sell the maps on top of that using the new in-app purchase feature of 3.0 and then obviously you will have to buy the carkit.. the uk and ireland map for tomtom go at the moment is £40 so maby we will be seeing a new wave of more expensive apps? its hard to give an estimate on how much the app will cost.. the more expensive ones on the app store atm are roughly about £5.99 ($10ish).. the car kit i should think will be about £30 so were looking at £70-£100 ($115-$170) for the whole lot.. but then that seems a bit expensive.. personally i cant wait for the app to come out (and for 3.0)..

What if i want to listen to music from my iphone while driving?!?...i can't use the connector. Will the cradle be able to handle an audio output?

It will have an FM Transmitter, so you can play all your songs through the car speakers - I just wanna know how much the car kit is going to cost!!!

Ok by far if Tom Tom has the application for one small fee they will get so much money it will not be funny. It would also be nice to see them beat AT&T with their free (paid application) for the navigation which people are saying is worse than google maps and it costs 10$ a month. If this app costs 20$ many people will join in however monthly harge is just a turn off ( huge one to be exact)

where is the ( TEXT TO SPEECH ) I guess people dont understand what is text to speech, it is when the GPS says the name of the street instead of just left or right as shown on the iphone demo

Why would you pay anything over $99 for this? When you can get a really good dedicated one for around $149 with optional subscription fees. I see fees stacked on top of this thing.
Iphone - $30 data plan ($360 per year)
GPS Unit - $ 200
GPS App - $ 19.99
Bullshit AT&T GPS for Iphone - $5.00 per year

I bought the Navigon GPS software for $79.99 off the app store. I already has the Gokivo app, but that required a $9.99 per month fee to use the turn by turn features AND it still required an always on internet connection for some of the features, and when you get out of cell signal range or are stuck in flakey EDGE areas, that becomes a problem.
Personally, $80-$100 for an app like this (Navigon is 1.5 Gigs of mapping data) is very reasonable considering the amount of work that went into not only the software but the data.
I barely use GPS more than 3 times a month, if that, so Gokivo would have been a waste of money. With Navigon, or any other non-subscription based, pay once always have it Turn-By-Turn app, I really do save money in the long run.

As Tomtom have already released the software for the iphone, I realy think they should be cosidering the release of the holder onto the market ASAP. Any delays and I'm sure our Chinese friends will work it out and release their own version (guaranteed to be a lot cheaper).....and who can blame them. The race is on!!

The TomTom app does NOT work properly on the 3G. I can;t speak for the 3GS or the new iPhone 4. It is completely crap and useless as a standalone app for the old 3G. I wasted $100 on this when it came out. It rarely knows where you are, and certainly can never tell the DIRECTION you are going in. I don't know if the compass in the 3GS makes any difference to this?

Yes it does not work on the 3G at all, but apparantly it does work on the 3G,S as my son has it on his, but is there anyone there know if they can make it work on the 3G.

Yes it work on my iphone 3g and i'm running IOS 3.1.3 which work perfectly on my 3g. i believe it only work on certain IOS ure running. if ure using any IOS higher than 3.1.3 try downgrading see if it work.